Monday, February 25, 2013

Testwuide traded (UPDATED) 2/25

Adirondack Phantoms winger Mike Testwuide returned to practice two weeks ago, working his way back into game shape after he suffered a concussion in a game last month.

He has been inching closer to his return to the line-up, but learned Monday that it won’t be with the Phantoms.

The Philadelphia Flyers dealt Testwuide to the Calgary Flames Monday, acquiring center Mitch Wahl in the trade. Wahl will report to Glens Falls, the Flyers announced, while the likely destination for Testwuide is Calgary’s AHL affiliate, the British Columbia-based Abbotsford Heat.

"I looked at his resume and I see the numbers that he put up as a junior player and what’s going on for him right now," Phantoms coach Terry Murray said of Wahl, who is expected to arrive in Glens Falls Tuesday night. "It certainly looks like he’s capable of putting some numbers up. I’m looking forward to seeing him come in, get into practice and get comfortable."

The move has the ingredients of a proverbial change-of-scenery transaction.

Testwuide, 26, put up 39 points for Adirondack in his first professional season, 2010-11, but saw that total dip to 29 points last season. The Colorado College product had two points in 19 games this season, and was either scratched or buried on Adirondack’s fourth line when he was healthy.

He has not played since Jan. 19, when he was injured in a game against the Connecticut Whale.

"He’s back and ready to go," Murray said. "He’s healthy right now. I just didn’t get him in there these past couple of days. I really wanted to get him another week of hard practice with him this coming week before that would happen, and then the deal happens today. I think a fresh start for him is pretty good.”

Wahl was Calgary’s second-round pick in the 2008 NHL draft and an established scorer in junior hockey, but he has never been able to crack Abbotsford’s line-up on a full-time basis.

The 23-year-old California native has 54 career AHL games to his credit since 2009-10, and 22 of those came last season after the Flames loaned him to the Hamilton Bulldogs, an affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens.

The majority of Wahl's professional career has been spent in the ECHL, where he racked up 99 points in 83 games with the Utah Grizzlies. That includes 59 points in 45 games with Utah this season, and he also scored one goal in six games with Abbotsford to give him 15 points in his AHL career. The Phantoms rank 25th in the AHL with 2.41 goals per game.

"Hopefully he fits in very quickly and is able to give us some offensive production," Murray said. "That’s a part of the game that, as we’ve talked in the past, we need to improve on. This kind of a player hopefully will add to that part of it.”

Testwuide leaves Glens Falls as one of the more decorated Adirondack Phantoms in team history.

He is fourth on the team’s all-time games played list with 161, and ranks third with 32 goals. His 70 points are sixth all-time, and his 38 career assists place him in a sixth-place tie with Jon Kalinski.

Testwuide, on his Twitter page, said he was looking forward to his tenure in the Calgary system.

"Excited for a new opportunity!" Testwuide Tweeted. "Can't thank the flyers/phantoms organizations and fans enough. Was amazing to be a part of."

Coincidentally, Testwuide’s brother, former Adirondack Phantoms defenseman J.P. Testwuide, played 18 games with Abbotsford last season. J.P. Testwuide has since retired from pro hockey.

Wahl was teammates with Phantoms forward Zack FitzGerald last season in Hamilton, and will become one of four California-born players on the Adirondack roster. Wahl, a Seal Beach native, joins forwards Matt Ford (West Hills) and Shane Harper (Valencia) and defenseman Matt Konan (Tustin).

"I am very excited and feel extremely blessed to get an opportunity with the !" Wahl Tweeted. "Can't wait to get started!"

The Flyers made one other move Monday, sending Phantoms center Andrew Johnston to the ECHL’s Trenton Titans. He is expected to play for the Titans Tuesday in Cincinnati, the Titans announced.

Until next time,


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